When I was attending massage school, California was one of the only states that did not have state-wide legislature that regulated the industry. At the time, each city in California had their own set of requirements on who could open a massage business. Just to give you an idea, in the state of New York, massage therapists must have a minimum of 1,000 hours of training. In contrast, the City of Atascadero didn’t even require proof of professional training, which opened a door for inappropriate behavior in the industry.
Thankfully, in 2009, the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC) was created to regulate the massage industry in order to protect the public by certifying qualified and ethical massage professionals in California.
When I first moved my practice out to San Luis Obispo in 2010, they required 200 hours of education in order to be approved for a business license. Things are changing though and this option is being phased out throughout the state. Soon, everyone who wants to practice massage legally, must be state certified.
There are two levels of certification in California: practitioner and therapist. A practitioner is someone with 250 hours of training whereas a massage therapist must have 500 hours of training, or 250 hours of training and proof that he or she passed a state approved exam. Soon, the option of being a practitioner will also be phased out and anyone administering massage therapy must meet the latter set of requirements.
Choosing a massage therapist can be overwhelming, but looking for that stamp of approval from the CAMTC may help narrow down your search. All of the practitioners at SLOCO Massage have met the requirements to be a Certified Massage Therapist and have been awarded the badge of approval from the CATMC. CMT’s are required by law to include their license number on all of their marketing material. You can verify a massage therapist’s license on CAMTC’s website.